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Open mike 31/03/2015

Written By: - Date published: 6:30 am, March 31st, 2015 - 247 comments
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openmikeOpen mike is your post.

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Step up to the mike …

247 comments on “Open mike 31/03/2015 ”

  1. Paul 1

    The Herald really is trying to pretend nothing actually happened on Northland last weekend.
    It has spent considerable effort dissecting the reasons for the loss of the cricket final, but is trying to ignore the fact that the other team it supported last weekend got a hammering.

    • tc 1.1

      No surprises there Paul, I dare it to go behind a pay wall and test how valued people see it. Go on granny nothing to hide nothing to fear.

      Such a tabloid Tory rag full of shills, sycophants and copy/paste PR republishes.

      • Paul 1.1.1

        Brendan McCullum was a gracious loser in Melbourne.
        Key, Joyce and the Herald editorial team could learn a lot from him.

        • tc

          They have become used to dominating the narrative with their spin, bluster BS routine because an owned MSM just let them put it out there?

          Audrey needs no material she is a consummate shill along with Armstrong and Trevitt.

          They are rarely if any challenged over the facts, previous contradictions or just simply rebut and debate them to get a bit of robustness into it.

    • DH 1.2

      They hate Peters so much their reason & objectivity flies out the window. Try this one from Audrey Young;

      Winston won’t play ball: Key

      They’ve constantly fed us the line that Key won’t deal with Winston Peters under any circumstances and now they’d have us believe Key has been dealing with him but that Winston won’t play ball. Both can’t be true….

      • Paul 1.2.1

        So blatantly biased

      • Anne 1.2.2

        They have never forgiven Peters for blowing open the Winebox case. He wasn’t the only one on the trail but he captured the imagination of the country in a similar way to his Northland campaign.

        The main perpetrators of those massive tax evasion/avoidance ponzi-type schemes were run by – and for – the “rich pricks” who have supported National and ACT over the past 30 years. I suspect quite a few of the more senior MSM journos owe their successful careers to the self same mentors.

        • tracey

          yup…. and both Labour and National were in cahoots to stop him…

          • Anne

            @ tracey
            If you’re referring to the 1980s Rogernomes who subsequently broke away from Labour and founded ACT, I can attest to that. Due to a special set of circumstances I found myself slightly embroiled in that affair and the depth of their hatred bordered on paranoia. I have no doubt it still exists today.

            • tracey


              I refer to,amongst other things, the attempt to lock Winston out of Parliament which nearly succeeded and could only have done so with aquiesence from Labour Party.

              I represented Paul White in his defended Injunction case against Citibank. Changed how I viewed lil ole NZ forever…

              • Anne

                the attempt to lock Winston out of Parliament which nearly succeeded and could only have done so with aquiesence from Labour Party.

                I’ve forgotten the details of that tracey. When was it now? 1990s? That of course was the time when the strands of neo liberalism in Labour – left behind by Douglas, Prebble and co.- was still quite strong. Gosh, there’s some stories to be told about that time. All sorts of people got caught up in it. One day it will come out.

                • Tracey

                  Yes early 90’s. Winston wanted to table some docs so the Nats and Labs blocked him, or tried to lock him out of Parliament… but he sent a decoy car and took a taxi to a side door where an old doorman he knew let him in… when he walked into parliament you could hear a pin drop.

                  • I don’t think I’ve ever heard this story! If anyone has links (googling has failed me) I’d be very keen to read them.

                    • Tracey

                      to everyones horror it is reasonably well recorded by wishart in paradise conspiracy. he didnt bother to interview me, just used statements in the herald or i could have added some interesting layers to the story.

                    • Wishart? Curses. Maybe I can find a copy in a Whitcoulls bargain bin.

              • Monty

                Who played you in the movie spooked, based on the book or did you not get a mention.

                • tracey

                  Didnt see the movie. Briefly mentioned in the book… but if Wishart had spoken to me he could have got some very good info, including about the condition of the car only a few hours before the “accident”.

                  Paul White told me alot of things. Despite how he represented me to others, I was his lawyer, i was the one doing the negotiating and arguing of his case, not a puppet whose strings he was pulling. He did, however conduct the settlement himself in the break after the hearing when approached by the citibank suits who specifically asked that I not be present. I didn’t really know until after he died and the media started looking at it how much was truth and how much was Paul talking himself up (which he did alot). He was quite a creepy fellow, cheap suits and creeped out our receptionist and secretaries.

                  For example he told me had had met with Peters. I didn’t believe him (cos he talked so much crap) but the maitre D of Hammerheads confirmed it to the media after Paul died.

                  It was actually a scary time for me. I was unsupported by the Partners in the firm after Paul died and was hounded by Press. I also began to see confirmation of some stuff Paul told me which made me wonder about other stuff.

                  We didn’t have computers in our offices in those days so I did not ever look at the disks but that didnt stop the press reporting that I had seen them. I did have the pile of printouts as part of the documentation we held.

                  After he died I was able to compare not only what I knew from Paul, but others, including more official folks like Banks as Minister of Police in response to complaints about the handling of the case by the Police and how they had been used, with what was said afterwards.

                  Fishy doesn’t even begin to cover it. At the tender age of 25 any illusion that NZ governments, banks or the police were all nice, ethical folks was gone for good.

                  The settlement was like something out of a movie too…

                  Paul and I drove from High Court to Citibank (Downtown Auckland). He handed me a manilla (brown) envelope) with an agreement written in pencil. He parked down a side alley/road and met a couple of guys in suits outside the bank ( I had earlier seen them in the back of the Court) while arguing the injunction). There was some discussion then a suit pointed over the road to a hotel (Park Royal from memory) on QE square. Paul came back, dropped me at my office, parked the car and came to see me. He left at 4pm and came back about 30-45mins later with a briefcase he said had the settlement. He shouted the office champagne but he did not drink any alcohol. My partner and I left about 8om (from memory) and Paul left with us. We headed to downtown car park and he walked up Queen Street.

                  When a police sergeant came to visit me the next week following Paul’s death I was most struck by the lack of questions about Paul, his demeanor, his sobriety. The focus was almost entirely on whether I had seen what was on the disks.

                  The rest I think you all know.

                  Secret NZ did a show on it The crew had some very interesting stories to tell base don what people they were visiting had told them…

                  • Molly

                    I remember hearing the radio report on Paul White’s death, a few hours after it had happened.

                    A police spokesman was speaking about how there were “no suspicious circumstances.”

                    I mentioned to my partner, who was in the car with me, that that was a very unusual circumstance, and why would the police make such a declarative statement when an investigation into the accident would barely have begun?

            • tracey

              oh, and who was shown on some of those bank accounts as receiving money into offshore accounts…

              • Anne

                That would be extremely interesting to know tracey. My reason for saying that:

                The hatred of Winston actually started in 1978/1979 when he won the seat of Hunua (I think it was Hunua) off Roger Douglas’ brother, Malcolm Douglas on a judicial recount. It transpired a large bunch of Pacific Islanders (some 200) had voted and none of them were on the electoral roll. No blame on them… they were marched to the polling booth and told to cast a vote. The Douglas clan and their supporters vowed eternal revenge on W. Peters. I was associated at the time with one of their supporters and some of the bizarre stuff they got up to in their efforts to discredit Peters never saw the light of day.

                • Anne

                  Ooops… got that wrong. The Islanders had been enrolled but weren’t entitled to a vote because they had been in NZ less than 12 months. They were used, but left to take the blame when it was exposed.

      • vto 1.2.3

        John Key in the article says “We’re always more than happy to talk to him and we’ve tried in the past and we’re certainly happy to try in the future”

        But that is a blatant lie.

        Why doesn’t the NZ Herald question that lie?

        Does it have anything to do with the NZ Herald being owned by some of the richest most right wing people on the planet?

        Why doesn’t the NZ Herald disclose this on its front page each day?

        John Key is a liar yet again, and
        the Herald is partisan and not objective. The Herald deceives its readership – actually, it is in breach of the Fair Trading Act by way of its misleading and deceptive conduct in trade. It holds itself out as independent and objective but it is not. That is deceptive conduct in trade.

    • ScottGN 1.3

      Stuff isn’t any better. Their banner headline in the politics section this morning, “Nats will Look to Grab Seat Back” above a fairly pedestrian article by both Watkins and Small that claims, shock!, horror! that National with try and win Northland back at the next election. Go figure.

    • Weepus beard 1.4

      Same with Hosking and Leighton Smith and Suzie Fergusson. They are going out of their way to talk about other things while the elephant in the room is trumpeting.

      Leighton Smith, well, he’s a cheeky Aussie, isn’t he? His intro yesterday painted a picture of a weekend of loss. He said there were no winners.

      Winston Peters won and the people of Northland had a victory of sorts, the benefit of which remains to be seen. It will be a long bridge to cross for them.

  2. Pasupial 2

    12 days remaining till the return of the Rawshark 7:

    Murray Rawshark
    marty mars
    rawshark – yeshe
    phillip ure
    Colonial Rawshark

    Another day on the picket line for me:

    Open mike 30/03/2015

    • weka 2.1

      [r0b: If people want to protest a ban by taking time out from the blog then I’m sorry to lose them, but that is their right. However, I don’t see what good it does to re-litigate the issue every day for a fortnight. It’s actually damaging to author morale this sort of circus, when we are all volunteers with many other calls on our time. The fact is that folk here do react differently to Stephanie’s moderation than that of other authors, and the fact that they do is a worry for the culture of the blog. Moderation is a funny old business. Collectively I know we don’t always get it right, but we are always doing our best. Please be patient with us. Thanks…]

      Open mike 30/03/2015

    • mickysavage 2.2

      Let me express public support for Stephanie. She is one of our most talented bloggers. She has expectations that discussions should be civilised and the Kaupapa that authors should not be attacked is a strong one.

      Lprent has banned for less. This site tolerates very robust discussions but there are limits. Besides don’t you think there are more important things to discuss like climate change, child poverty, why Sabin really resigned …

      • One Anonymous Bloke 2.2.1

        I don’t think the way feminist voices get shouted down is less important.

        • vto

          Yep, the bigotry around gender is something I enjoy piling into too, though in my case it is the knee-jerk red-neckery that appears on the surface whenever people see a middle-aged white male walking down the street ….. fuck me, you wouldn’t believe the prejudice loaded onto such a person

        • McFlock

          But it wouldn’t be an issue if people respected an author’s right to moderate the discussion on their own damned posts.

      • McFlock 2.2.2

        I second that, Mickey.

        Murray broke the rules and picked up a pretty moderate ban. If he doesn’t like that then (unlike the capital costs in setting up a private shopping mall) he can set up his own blog, and hell – I might even read it.

        Stephanie wrote a considered post (another of many) which Murray confused with an official Labour party media release, and he couldn’t handle being told to get his assumptions straight. And apparently this is worthy of protest 🙄

    • Pasupial – please stop this – I appreciate your sentiment but I am not part of a group and don’t want to be in the way you are doing it. Let it go. Stephanie is a great blogger and a valued author of this site – I appreciate her work and this has turned into an anti-stephanie pile in – I am not part of that and it is against what I believe. I am not on strike or on a picket or any of that – I was silent but the injustice is deafening so I must speak.

      • Pasupial 2.3.1

        marty mars

        I’ll take your name off the list then. So it’s the; Rawshark 6, again.

        I’ve always seen it more as being about showing solidarity with MR, than being against SR (you’ll note that I didn’t even mention her name in my last comments – thanks Weka for that suggestion). I agree that; “Stephanie is a great blogger and a valued author of this site”. It certainly has to be difficult being a feminist in Aotearoa, even in this century (which maybe explains, but doesn’t excuse; why she can sometimes be a bit quick with a preemptive defense)

        There are many topics I’d much rather be commenting on instead of walking this picket line. But The Standard has a central flaw that has been unaddressed for some time. It purports to be; “the voice of the New Zealand labour movement”, but operates with a commenting system that would be a better fit with; a sweatshop in a third world special economic zone. And, at that, it’s one of the better ones in the kiwi blogosphere – at least comments don’t just get disappeared without any explanation.

        The solution I’ve suggested is:

        an association of commenters (the “Aotearoan Union for Blog Commenters”?), who can discuss issues amongst themselves and present a clear proposals to (and mediate disputes with) blog moderators. However, I have neither the time nor organizational experience to set this up myself.

        Anyway, I’ve contributed at least a book’s worth of; essays, transcriptions, and reporting, to The Standard over the years. Now I find that what I fondly imagined to be a town square, is in fact a private shopping mall complete with looming security guards. So I’m on strike until Murray Rawshark’s ban is done, or I get locked out.

        • Chooky

          Parsupial…re..” a private shopping mall complete with looming security guards. So I’m on strike until Murray Rawshark’s ban is done, or I get locked out”…+100

          you too on strike now?!…f.ck….!

          well I am not yet gone but I only come here when there is worthwhile commentary and commentators….otherwise I dont feel motivated to make a contribution….( I may be a bird ….but I am NOT dumb…and I cant be bothered talking to dumb people…I know some of the best and most genuine and giving commentators here have had their intelligence and integrity assaulted and insulted too many times)

          ….so my attendance is provisional (until banned)

          …however I will endeavour with the countdown in your absence

          • Pasupial


            By; “on strike”, I mean that other than the daily countdown vigil, I will be avoiding other comments not directly related to this (hence the; “until Murray Rawshark’s ban is done, or I get locked out”). I am really surprised that I’m being given rein to do what I am, but I guess the moderators are aware of the Streisand effect.

            When you’re tapdancing through a minefield there is no need to start juggling live grenades as well.

            [lprent: You might have noticed that I tend to ignore tactical considerations when I can see strategic advantages. My usual inclination would to induce people to pull their grenade’s pin. Then I can see if the mines were set too close together. If the worst happens, a new minefield can be easily laid and we can put in a better distribution pattern. But it is so rare to find people willing to experiment with suicide techniques to do such tests. ]

            • One Anonymous Bloke

              Streisand Effect


              The SE applies to cases of attempted censorship, not moderation.

              We’re guests here.

            • weka

              “I am really surprised that I’m being given rein to do what I am”

              I’m not. If you get a bolded comment and ignore it, expect consequences. I don’t like what you are doing, but I don’t see you doing anything yet that grossly breaks the rules. I think you are being rude to people like r0b who as a moderator has suggested that you stop. These things will build up over time and whether you step over a line or not is up to you, and timing. I think Lynn made it pretty clear what would happen if his attention gets diverted into moderation rather than doing site improvements.

              Open mike 30/03/2015

              I’ve been impressed at the thoughtful way various moderators have handled this in the past few days. It seems to me there is respect for the community and much tolerance, which flies in the face of accusations of censorship and authoritarian control. It also looks like care is being taken to guard the kaupapa of the site (eg being as hands of as possible in service to robust debate). Well done.

        • weka

          “(you’ll note that I didn’t even mention her name in my last comments – thanks Weka for that suggestion”

          that’s not really what I meant. I suggested that if you wanted to talk about power imbalances on ts that you focus on all authors not just Stephanie. That was in direct reference to you writing about power imbalances, nothing to do with your strike.

          I’m finding your analogies highly offensive, both because they minimise real lived experiences of sweatshop labour and they badly mischaracterise the culture on ts (and the power dynamics). They’re also incredibly inaccurate (there is no economic or even political imperative for you or any of us commenters to be here on ts. The quality of what is on offer here is massively different than a private shopping mall). And worst of all, they mischaracterise the authors badly. I don’t see that as much of an improvement on mischaracterising Stephanie alone.

          If you can imagine a utopian, non-heirarchical online political community that’s great, but I would suggest that actually creating one is far more difficult than you realise and I’m not aware of any such space online. I trust Lynn and the other people who set up ts to know what is real and practical and to be running this place in the way that works given the limitations of the authors/admin in the real world. I’ve worked in collectives that try and remove power imbalances and it takes a lot of work, far more than I would expect from the people who run ts who are all volunteers (you’d need full time paid moderators for a start).

          I wonder if you understand the hisotory of ts? From what I’ve gleaned (am open to correction from people who were here at the time), they tried letting the comments section be open and less moderated and they got influxed with troles, mostly right wingers intent on destroying the place. Lots of flaming and chaos and shitty quality conversation/debate. The moderation policy developed out of that because there was a need to protect the community and ensure that the debate culture here could thrive. That succeeded.

          Even if Stephanie were wrong in her moderation (and there have been at least 4 other moderators that have supported her decision publicly), this one banning is miniscule in comparison to the huge effort that’s gone in the past to ensure that we have a decent place to talk.

          I think you are way off here Pasupial. I’m sure your intent is good, but the way you are framing this is hugely disrespectful to this community. It’s possible to talk about the problems with the way ts is run, but this isn’t the way to do it.

          • lprent

            The history is pretty correct.

            The only thing that prevents the site being overrun by trolls – fun seekers, right, left, stirring…. Is that it is quite ineffective. We increased the cost with personal abuse of bad behaviour and an effective lockout.

            The alternative was to lock the comments section down to the stalinism that bomber preferred.

            But the emphasis is and always was based on allowing the site to survive and continue with a productive role for the labour movement.

            If we lose commenters or authors from that, then they are likely to either go to a site that they prefer. Or they start their own site. Either way, it benefits the overall political debate.

            We try to support both for sites on the left.

          • Pasupial


            Yes, the sweat-shops line was a bit glib, I gave more consideration to the analogies I used on the power imbalance comment. Also, apologies for misrepresenting your suggestion. My interpretation was that; I would do better to address more general than particular issues, so as to limit offense to others. I did not mean to imply that you in any way supported my industrial action.

            I don’t know that I can imagine a; “utopian, non-heirarchical online political community”, that’d take a level of optimism which I do not currently possess. However we don’t have to accept the world as we find it, when we can see things that can be improved. No one seems to have much interest in my suggestion of; a commenters union to mediate disputes with moderators. Nor have I seen any other practical suggestions, except for variations on the; “sit down and shut up”, theme.

    • vto 2.4

      When organisations or movements or groups or all manner of things reach certain points then signs emerge that these particular points have been reached.

      I think what we have here is one of these signs.

      Not sure what it means for TS – perhaps something to do with its growth, perceived ownership (i.e. by commenters), etc.

      whatever it is please keep it small, obscure and off to one side.

    • rawshark-yeshe 2.5

      Likewise, I wanted to write this morning. I repeat everything Marty Mars articulates so well in his post.

      Please, stop the attacks on Stephanie. I never intended to be part of any such thing. I wish no harm to her nor TS.

      Neither Murray R nor Marty Mars questioned Stephanie on the night; I did, I’m sorry to say.

      Why? The background is important, to me anyway. Because we were all having a Northland celebration party — it was marvelous night to have Key on the run and In the spirit of that, I felt banning someone so suddenly was a huge party-pooper and I couldn’t see the problem, so I asked Stephanie, light heartedley I thought, if I could be traded for Murray Rawshark.

      I didn’t see any seriousness, but obviously, I was ignorant of the history. What followed confounded me.

      I was completely ignorant of what had gone before. I viewed the banning as an isolated unnecessary one-off incident and disagreed with it. In fact, I still do, but that is no longer the point. I don’t agree, but did not intend to start a war.

      Also, I did not know the rules that I should never challenge any author on their own posting. So for that piece of it, out of my ignorance, I apologise to Stephanie, even though I noted at the time I always enjoy her writing.

      I never intended to be a footprint that brought an avalanche down. I am sincerely sorry. Law of unseen consequences.

      Stephanie — please keep up the good fight, and enjoy breathing at the same time. Life is very short and none of us will get out of this alive, after all !

      NB: I was very moved earlier in the day reading Marty Mars beautiful poem on Weekend Social — a sweet breath of fresh air and a deep insight into him. I was still humming along with that unseen melody and it seemed simple and right I should support him and Murray R.

      Please, read and enjoy his poem, It’s beautiful and a healing soothe for gentle hearts.

      And quietly now, I go back to my two week holiday. Thank you for reading. Please be kind; and if that’s not possible, at least cause no harm.

      And Marty Mars says it all better than I can.

      • weka 2.5.1

        thank-you yeshe, that’s a great comment, full of social intelligence and depth.

        thanks to marty too. I agree about the poem, it was a very generous gift from marty. It’s linked in Weekend Social if people want to check it out.

      • left for deadshark 2.5.2

        Well said rawshark-yeshe…. 🙂
        Please ! could we have more tolerance with each other.

        • greywarshark

          Yes left for deadshark – that’s what we are on about. Tolerance for commenters to be able to make a point and react like ordinary people not students at school. Somehow this is interpreted as being an attack on Stephanie who is a great person, great author and great worker for the left. I wrote previously about my feelings but I don’t seem to have reached anybody.

          The whole matter could be overcome if the guidelines for the blog were changed now from the absolute barriers against any criticism of authors. Surely they are strong people who can answer a criticism briefly and thoughtfully instead of being offended, going into a cold sweat and banning the miscreant?

          The whole point is that there is an urgent, present need for examination and discussion of our present society’s behaviour and attitudes, and I am not talking about concentrating on feminist issues, the time for that concentration was in the 1970s and 1980s. Now we have bigger all-encompassing issues. These are the ones going into the future. We have troubles ahead with a capital T. We need to be open to discussion not have to walk on eggshells. The tight rules were necessary at the beginning to get the blog going and protect it against the naysayers, flamers and toxic RWs. I think the blog has proved itself now don’t you all. Now it is time to get a slightly thicker skin and grasp the thorny subjects that must be wrestled with. And we can do that with respect, limits on attacks and jsut a bit of bad language. But why shouldn’t everybody be able to disagree with everybody a bit. And give a reason. And perhaps be told that they can write their own post if they want different. Or maybe they get listened to and the thought taken on board, and a change made.

          It is important that we in NZ are ready to change and adapt to the future, or society will break down completely. When viewing the wars that have happened in the past they were because of the instability caused by changing circumstances, economics, leaders that had ruled the country and people’s minds changed. While things are confused the order of society breaks down. It takes people who can think and co-operate to get through this sort of thing, and it won’t work with an old system of leaders and followers. We are going to need most of the people combining and agreeing to manage, not Lord of the Flies. Let’s start doing that on this blog.

          • Clemgeopin

            Good points!

          • left for deadshark

            Good morning greywarshark,
            You make some good points,but I guess its up to Lynn an his associates to reform their guide lines or rules is a better word.but hey,I’m dyslexic it’s taken me an hour and a half to write this.

            Thats why I try and keep it short and hopefully sweet,maybe even funny.

            But I can give you a clue to maybe why their is a problem with the LEFT.one of them is in my handle,a book ( left for dead ) by Michael Tomasky, the book is getting on now but makes some good observations.

            So lets be kinder and a bit more lenient,and focus on the big picture.Lets tip national out of our government.

          • weka

            I don’t see an absolute barrier on being critical of authors. The past four days have demonstrated that clearly, and there’s been an example given of where Lynn was challenged on a moderation and it was rescinded.

            There is a pretty clear rule about not making out that authors represent political parties. And another, looser but still important one about taking notice of warnings about that. That’s what Murray was banned for.

            I get the thing about tolerance, and I agree to a point, but it seems to me that it’s a bit one way. A fair amount of the commenting against the ban have been about talking about Stephanie in derogatory ways. That’s not tolerance (and as has been pointed out, there are good reasons for protecting authors from this kind of thing).

            To be honest Grey, I don’t see what Stephanie did as being that much different than you characterising the subsequent debate as Lord of the Flies. Or calling Stephanie an ‘authoritarian head mistress’ who treats people like children (lots of barbs in that comment), and excusing Lynn’s beavhiour because he is responsible/busy (with clear implications that Stephanie doesn’t have an excuse for her behaviour) . To me those are jibes intend to hurt or undermine, and I don’t see them encouraging tolerance or building community in the way you are asking for. They’re not respectful. That’s just how I see them of course, but my point is that we all have behaviours in other people we don’t like and while I think it’s fine to call people out in their behaviours, as soon as you do it in undermining ways, the high ground is lost, as is the potential to change things for the better. Plus mote in one’s eye and all that.

            I don’t know what it would take to get us to work together, or even if attempting that is more desireable than having a place for robust debate. I’d like to see more discussion of this in another context.

      • Pasupial 2.5.3

        rawshark -yeshe

        Okay, will remove your name from the next list along with marty mars’. Which brings us back down to the; Rawshark 5.

      • Tracey 2.5.4

        Nice to hear from you.

      • felix 2.5.5

        ” I did not know the rules that I should never challenge any author on their own posting.”

        I’ve never heard of that rule. It’s a pretty bloody awful one if true.

        • RedLogix

          Challenging the authors opinions or references was always on.

          Attacking the author personally is not.

          Telling the difference between the two never used to be quite the problem it seems to have become lately.

          • weka

            “Telling the difference between the two never used to be quite the problem it seems to have become lately.”

            That seems to be the crux of the matter (or one of them).

        • weka

          It’s not true, it happens all the time (as you know from your recent interactions with TRP). What’s not tolerated is people having a go at authors in specific ways eg attacking them. You can be rude to them while critiquing their post, but there’s a line that’s not good to step over. At least that’s how I understand it.

          There’s also a grey area, which is where you and SR disagreed on interpretations of Murray’s post and whether he had told SR what to write. You were allowed to disagree with SR, but IMO she’s the one that gets to determine where the line is because she’s the author who made the effort to put up the post.

          That last post by TRP was also instructional. He let you and Lanth keep having a go about something in his post, and then he got sick of it and told you to stop. Which I think you did. To my mind, that’s the system functioning reasonably well and the main difference between what SR and TPR did was that SR did that much sooner. Given how much shit she gets online in her role as a feminist blogger, I personally don’t have a problem with her timing, irrespective of whether people were reacting to her because she’s a woman or because she’s blunt and heavy handed or they don’t like her or they think it was unfair or some other reason entirely.

    • Chooky 2.6

      +100 Parsupial…still on deck and counting down for absent friends I see…(did report in for duty about an hour earlier but couldnt make contact until now….thought I had been banned)

    • Skinny 2.7

      Hey I posted in open mike yesterday I am on a go slow and won’t be crossing any picket lines, is there any resolution yet?

      Btw have fought for women’s rights all my working life and appreciate their struggle and are in unity in the fight for equality 100%. However feel SR at times has misinterpreted my comments as sexist and jumped on me, which I assure you is not the case, or not intended too, or offend. Think it is a lesson for us all to show a little tolerance and forgiveness, we are all a little different in this world.

      • Rosie 2.7.1

        With respect Skinny, as you know, Stephanie isn’t the only person who has found your comments quite clearly sexist sometimes. I’ve raised this with you in the past.
        I’ve not seen any dialogue between you two, but you should know she is not on her own.

        • Skinny

          Yes true I must say still to this day I’m still miffed about the reference ‘chic’ I mean I use the term chook or rooster about a guy. Didn’t understand the insult and still don’t, just a bit of an old school surfing term.

          • Dialey

            Chic /ˈʃiːk/, meaning “stylish” or “smart”, is an element of fashion.

          • Rosie

            Lols Skinny it was waaaay more than “chick” There were a number of examples I pointed out to you, and they were more serious than the term chick. Chick didn’t worry me in the way the other examples did.

            And as for it being a old skool surfing term for a woman, I went out with a surfie in the 80’s. Despite the fact that we were in our teens back then he still had the maturity to refer to women as women. What a man eh? 🙂

            • Skinny

              Yes well my memory is a bit selective I guess, however the admonishment by the sister’s was taken on board, I hope 🙂

              “What a man eh?”

              Sounds like a bloody heeee man lol.

    • Rosie 2.8

      Hi Pasupial,

      Isn’t having a daily vigil/picket line a bit of an over reactive response to a disagreement?

      Please excuse me, blogs aren’t my natural environment and I am reluctant to get involved with a conflict I had no part in but I feel I must say that escalating the perceived or real grievance (and I’m not going down the track of whose wrong and whose right) by giving it a daily needling has the potential to create a toxic us vs them environment here.

      I’ve read the last two days arguments on this and what has struck me above all else is how must Stephanie be feeling? Hopefully she has thicker skin than me because if I were in her shoes I’d feel like I’d been flayed.

      I have an appreciation and respect of a great number of the commenters (yourself included) on this site and I also have the same appreciation and respect for the authors, Stephanie included. I also hope she is doing ok at the moment.

      • Puckish Rogue 2.8.1

        Well my two cents is check your ego at the door and just obey the rules of the site If not you get a banning, its all pretty simple really

        • lprent

          The voice of experience? (coming to think of it that would be a good irritating handle)

          There is a pretty wide range that peoples egos can work within here anyway. We try to constrain it between egos tearing the place apart and ensuring that there is room for a lot of egotistical dispute.

      • lprent 2.8.2

        I’ve read the last two days arguments on this and what has struck me above all else is how must Stephanie be feeling? Hopefully she has thicker skin than me because if I were in her shoes I’d feel like I’d been flayed.

        She isn’t happy about it.

        I am not that fussed it happening either, especially when it relates to a moderation. Normally I’d have landed on it with some hobnail boots at an early stage. However it happened to arrive as I finished a project, so I was reading the 8 or so books of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series in between a large amount of sleeping. So I have been letting it run to see where it goes.

        I have been through a few of these kinds of flareups, so I’m just maintaining a watch to see if I need to use a large hammer.

      • Skinny 2.8.3

        Oh I like Miss Rodgers no question about that, +1 hope she is not offended, life’s too short to hold grudges. Besides her battering eyes are adorable 🙂

    • Rawsharkosaurus 2.9

      Anybody else notice the irony that – despite the word often being a coded dismissal of women’s opinions – that it’s the poor oppressed menz who are acting hysterically about Stephanie doing some basic moderating of a discussion?

    • lurgee 2.10


      Please assure us that you are not, and never will be, anywhere near the Levers of Power.

      • Pasupial 2.10.1


        The only power I have is over my own actions (and even that is limited by circumstances).

        • lurgee

          Well, thank goodness for that.

          Now, since you have some degree control over your own actions, can you stop acting like a fool?

          Even by the standard of silly internet squabbles, this one is pathetic. And your protest is silliest part of it. Go and find someone really oppressed to be angry about.

  3. mary_a 3

    Will Key be in Parliament today to face some humiliating stick? Or will he be hanging around in Auckland to smile and wave at the Black Caps?

    The coward will opt for the second option methinks! To save face and ego!

    • tracey 3.1

      He’s learning his lines for his tete a tete with Winston…

      Was pleased to hear the MP voice through co-leader Fox this morning. MP will not agree to any sacrifice of environment for economic factors in RMA.

    • Anne 3.2

      Still putting maximum distance between himself and the byelection outcome? Wouldn’t surprise me.

    • Kiwiri - Raided of the Last Shark 3.3

      Looks like good coordination of questions from the Opposition in the House today.

    • From what I’ve seen on Twitter he did show, but didn’t have a good time once Winston got going.

      • Anne 3.4.1

        No, he didn’t. It nearly came to pistols at dawn. Actually Peters came close to be thrown out. There’s no love lost between Key and Peters.

        • b waghorn

          He told key “to sit there’s a good lad” or words to that effect.
          It will keep me smiling all evening.

          • Anne

            I think it was “sit down… there’s a good lad”.

            The speaker had just told Key to sit down when Winston followed suit. It would have looked like Key was sitting at Peters’ command. He wouldna liked that!

        • mary_a

          @ Anne (3.4.1) – and Key was a bit edgy too. His responses to questions were more ridiculous and disjointed than usual for him. I’d say Winston has definitely hit a raw nerve with dear leader, by taking out the Natsies in Northland. He’s definitely shaken Key’s self perceived perfect, albeit dirty, dark shallow little world.

          Key, from what I saw of his performance in the House today, is coming apart I think. He knows the writing is on the wall for him and his brand of deception and illusion and his minders in Washington are not at all pleased with him!

          Labour kept up the Northland issue during questioning 🙂 Quite smug about it too I thought 🙂

        • Skinny

          More like a cock fight!
          The Rooster of the North against the Peacock from Remuera.
          Razor sharp talons against a busted flush of feathers.

          “Sit down…there’s a good lad.”
          Question time day 1 the Rooster wins!

            • Skinny

              Thanks Anne 🙂
              The old Rooster must be feeling knackered but still ruffled Key’s feathers enough by all the ‘sucking in’ he was doing.

              • b waghorn

                It gets even better his first words in Parliament as the new member for northland was “BOO”
                The ghost of 2008 has risen.
                Winston s john keys own personal Harry Potter

                • Skinny

                  How desperate Key was reading off a script offering an open invitation that ‘we can work together’. A rather stupid hastily put together plan to discredit Peter’s as a time waster. All in vain, trying to take the sting out of the Sabin time bomb.

  4. Coffee Connoisseur 4

    If The System should be for everyone (and I am yet to find someone who disagrees with this) and we are all Human Beings who live a life here on earth and a life can best be described as both a consecutive series of experiences and one experience at the same time… and that if given the choice of having bad experiences, indifferent experiences or good experiences the latter is what would be chosen by all….

    then if The System is for everyone, then The System should be designed and built around enabling a good experience or consecutive series of experiences for everyone.
    This should be the premise for the entire system.

    Note: The System being the all encompassing one as opposed to the political system.


    • Coffee Connoisseur 4.1

      When looked at In this context even what happened with Portugal, Italy, Greece and Spain is a failure of the current system.

    • Sans Cle 4.2

      Hi again Coffee. I enjoyed our last exchange, a while back! And your posts are definitely food for thought.
      I’m stuck on your line that: life can best be described as both a consecutive series of experiences and one experience at the same time…
      ……as I have a feeling that it can be unpicked……which may undermine the logical flow of the latter part of that sentence.
      Our conventional view of phenomena is based on ‘eternalism’, that things have a past present and future – are consecutive series, which is at odds with your ‘one experience at the same time’ which is aligned with ‘presentism’ and which is also a valid way to see the world, that only the here and now exists (which largely can be proven, I think because we can’t time travel…yet). I find these concepts really interesting (and politically relevant), as if we sequence our lives, we tend to spread our resources across our lifespan (Modigalini’s life cycle hypothesis etc), whereas if we deny past and future, we don’t share our resources across time……nor to other people (redistribute).

      I do tend to agree with the second part of your argument, that we would tend to chose ‘good experiences’, which comes down to system design in the first place, along the lines of Rawl’s theory of justice. I think we touched on this in our last conversation, but my question still is how to change the system when we know there are better systems to live by…..and furthermore changes to the system are hampered by not everyone experiencing the system in the same way: presentism (living in the here and now, not being able to plan, consuming what you can within your lifespan) vs eternalism (planning, sequencing, giving to future generations, acknowledging the past).

  5. Brendon Ross 5

    Any thougths on Stuart Nash’s proposal to drop the ‘NZ Power’ idea (a sort of electric Phramac?)? I like the 90% renewables by 2025 target, especially give the Greens are 100% by 2030 – nice to see my two fave teams heading towards the same goal. His idea to regulate that all buildings include solar/photovoltaic energy capture is also pretty boss.

    On a different topic… I have discovered podcasts (cutting edge huh!) Any suggestions for good political ones, local or foreign?

    • vto 5.1

      Don’t drop it.

      It is the free market in action. The right wing should in fact love it – it is people freely organising themselves into an organisation for the purposes of improving their competitive position in a competitive environment. Just like the fuckers in business selling the power.


      Nash is on the wrong track.

    • weka 5.2

      I still don’t understand how Labour works, when you can have individual MPs going against party policy publicly. If Nash wants to change policy, shouldn’t he be doing it via internal party processes?

      • lprent 5.2.1

        The internal processes are both slow and comprehensive. Going outside tends to indicate either impatience and/or a lack of support.

        • Tracey

          Funny how recently that seems to only be Nash.

          • lprent

            It appears to be a whole lot quieter inside the NZLP caucus recently. But I’m somewhat more removed these days.

            • tracey

              I agree… with Goff titling for mayor and pretending he isnt decided on running yet (notwithstanding a SST column and being made spokesperson for Auckland Issues when Adern does well on that score) and nash, they are the only voices I hear/read making self serving shit.

              • Puckish Rogue

                At the same Labours rising in the polls, less Labour MPs are talking to the media…

          • lprent

            It appears to be a whole lot quieter inside the NZLP caucus recently. But I’m somewhat more removed these days.

          • alwyn

            Andrew Little seems to have been saying that a number of the policies that the Party still officially supports are crazy.
            Raising the retirement age and a CGT seem to have attracted his scorn.

            • tracey

              November 18 2014

            • whateva next?

              ……because it turned off middle NZ and so they voted Tory. He explained it very lucidly, and what on earth can you do if you are not in government, no matter how good it is.
              He didn’t bag the “power pricing policy” which Nash is saying has to go, does he have the backing of Labour for this? Sounded like an excellent plan to me.

    • b waghorn 5.3

      I thought it was a bit of rubbish knee jerk policy from labour and cost them a lot of votes since a lot of voters own shares and it was going to effect there profits.
      Its a shame a couple of regular s here are having a sulk I can think of one who specializes in Mr Nash

      • millsy 5.3.1

        So what would you do? It seems that you are more concerned about those poor shareholders will have to buy cheaper chardonnay instead of people who have no idea how they are going to pay thier latest power bill.

        • b waghorn

          Key understands greed and he IMO new that having people with skin in the game I E owning shares would vote against any move control prices .
          The horse had bolted and labour/greens proposal to slam the door shut was going to bruise a lot of wealthy fingers.
          What I’d do is get solar going flat out make it compolsory on all new builds and renos above 30k and force power companies to buy the excess at market wholesale prices.

          • millsy

            I agree with you about solar. Though I would start with rolling out solar panels on government buildings and state/social houses.

            IMO the NZ Power plans can be made more redneck-friendly by making it into a more opt in system. Other tweaks can include forcing generators to get rid of their retail business, making a level playing field.

    • millsy 5.4

      Probably needs tweaking, but not dropping. Leaving power to the market isnt going to do sod all for people who struggle with thier power bills. Including me.

      And what is he going to do about fuel poverty?

    • felix 5.5

      “On a different topic… I have discovered podcasts (cutting edge huh!) Any suggestions for good political ones, local or foreign?”


      NZ politics, some media and culture stuff, and a weird amount of discussion about fast food.

      Oh and it’s funny as all fuck.

  6. hoom 6

    Ugh, Bob Jones is such a stupid old windbag

    I normally don’t bother reading anything from him but bored so read most of this.
    Summary of his ‘thesis’:
    Auckland has some of the lowest red tape in the western world.
    Sydney red tape is vastly far far worse (& Sydney economy is fine).
    You couldn’t get permission to build the Empire State Building in Auckland now (most likely not in NY either).
    Therefore Auckland needs to reduce red tape for the economy…

    • Ffloyd 6.1

      Has anyone ever heard any of Kathryn Ryan’s guests finish an answer to a question she has asked? She is appalling.

    • alwyn 6.2

      ” (& Sydney economy is fine).”
      Is this your opinion or was it Jones?
      Whoever thinks this is in cloud cuckoo land with the fairies.

  7. Hateatea 7

    Does anyone know anymore about this plan?

    Given that many communities no longer have a functioning IRD office and not everyone likes to interact with government via the internet, is this even a sensible idea?

    I would rather the IRD closed all the loopholes so that the 1% actually pay some sort of tax, other than GST, of course.

    Then again, maybe this will gather more tax revenue. I am too ignorant of all the possible ramifications of the proposal to say.

    • weka 7.1

      hmm, how many earning NZers have internet access at home?

      • Ovid 7.1.1

        As of 2012, 80% of households had internet access at home (Stats NZ Excel spreadsheet). It peaks at 89% for individuals 35-44.

        I only have earned income and I find the IRD site quite useful, although a bit of a hassle to navigate. I’m always careful to check and see if I’m entitled to a refund – I’d much rather take one minute to do it myself than pay a tax agent 10% for simple work.

    • Tracey 7.2

      Read it this morning. Don’t hold your breath though, years to implement and involves building a working software system…

    • Puckish Rogue 7.3

      This is a few years old but still relevent


      • Draco T Bastard 7.3.1

        That’s never been relevant. In fact, it’s outright lies.

        • Puckish Rogue

          by Daniel Miles on July 18, 2011

          Well… they’re not lying, per se. Just not telling the whole truth. They group into $150,000 and above, and $149,999 and below.

          If you do three groups instead of the arbitrary two, then you can get (using their numbers):

          $150,000+ pays 70.7% of net tax.
          $50,000 – $149,999 pays 83.8% of net tax.
          $0 – $49,999 pays minus 54.5% of net tax.

          So while their numbers do show that people on $150,000 and above pay 70.7% of net tax, they also show that people who earn between $50,000 and $149,999 pay 83.8% of net tax. Which is just as true, and just as misleading.

          by Rob Salmond on July 18, 2011

          Daniel – I agree. Perhaps “fib” was one small bridge too far on my part, but I think that crime pales in comparison to the deceptiveness of the English / Farrar statistical enterprise on this issue.

          • McFlock

            Frankly, I don’t think is was a bridge too far.

            But whatever. It’s still never been relevant, because it’s outright misleading.

            I’m glad the liars’ reputations have been restored. They happened to not be lying in that instance, they were merely intentionally misleading. /sarc

    • Draco T Bastard 7.4

      Given that many communities no longer have a functioning IRD office and not everyone likes to interact with government via the internet, is this even a sensible idea?

      Yes it is. People get to do things that they don’t like doing all the time.

      I would rather the IRD closed all the loopholes so that the 1% actually pay some sort of tax, other than GST, of course.

      That’s not the role of the IRD but government. That said, this will actually close some loopholes by getting people to check that they paid the right amount of tax. For quite a few people that will actually mean a tax refund.

    • Clemgeopin 7.5

      I saw that article which has drawn over 330 comments in a few hours.

      I said there:
      Everything is designed to hit the common people, the less wealthy and the poor, while the mega wealthy and the big corporates have the resources to use consultants, lawyers and accountants to help them design shady schemes and stuff to easily dodge their fair share. It is a rich person’s world with a government of the wealthy, by the wealthy and working for the wealthy.

      In reply to that, one commenter, Jordan, said
      “Hope you can get that chip on your shoulder sorted. If the tax law wasn’t so darn complicated, there wouldn’t be so many loopholes. And don’t tell me you would willingly pay more tax than you needed to”

      I replied:
      Yes, I would, dear Jordan. Each one should pay according to one’s means. The wealthy, who siphon the most money from the rest in society, should pay a higher percentage on the top brackets and the poor a much lesser percentage or none at all. That is decent, sensible, civilised and above all, FAIR.

      Another commenter said this : “the other reality is that a lot of under 40000 a year are paying very little Tax and when you deduct back off what they are paying their family tax credits most are getting not giving.”

      I replied as follows:
      The tax credits are the government (the people) compensating the employers for paying lower wages, while making huge profits and paying comparatively lower taxes, while common people struggle to make ends reasonably meet their families essential needs and minimum wants from the wages paid. A millionaire, if he/she is honest in accounting, pays 33% tax=$330,000, keeping $670,000 per year or $1,840 per day for his/her family. A person on $40,000 pays 17.5%=$7,000, keeping $33,000 per year or $90 per day for his or her family. If you think that is fair and nothing wrong with that kind of disparity, then there is something wrong in our society and the world’s economic and social system.
      Now consider many more wealthy people, the corporates and multi-millionaires that are earning many more millions per year, paying handsomely for tax accountants but often paying buggers all taxes back to society.

    • RedBaronCV 7.6

      Note that the IRD thinks that you are going to use the computor & internet connection that you pay for and your personal email address to activate this idea. Should help the GCSB data collection.
      And the costs of implementing something like this which will hit the small taxpayer hardest won’t given anything ike the same compliance result as hitting the big earners. Most people at the bottom are payinng the vast majority of the tax owed.
      And then there is the “use the kiosk idea” for those without internet at home. Spoken by people who do not have three kids under 5, no money for a bus fare, no idea what it’s like to take three little ones downtown and they probably wouldn’t know they had to do it anyway. Most peopel need less contact with the government not more.

  8. Penny Bright 8

    Who will replace ShonKEY when the Sabin sh*t hits the fan?

    Paula Bennett???


    Penny Bright

    • weka 8.1

      Bennet, Collins, Bridges. I don’t think National is that short of untrustworthy, willing corruptee replacements for Key are they?

    • b waghorn 8.2

      I get the feeling Jamie Lee Ross fancies his chances.

    • McFlock 8.3

      Half a dozen pretenders all challenging for the NACT leadership?

      Game of Dow Jones.

    • Potato 8.4

      My prediction, particularly if its messy, is Judith comes running out of her corner as the ‘wronged woman’ who ‘wouldn’t let anything like this happen under her watch’. Curious that the email that sparked her stepping down as MP arrived about the same time as the media were supposed to be asking awkward questions about the Northland member.
      Long term the one to watch is Nikki Kay who was a successful junior member of the International Democratic Union of which JK is now chairman.

      • whateva next? 8.4.1

        she always looks wired though, as opposed to the “cool calm collected” persona that has proved so successful for Nats, in conjunction with the vitriol from bloggers to do dirty stuff.

        • Scintilla

          Nathan Guy? Bland, no baggage …..

          • whateva next?

            Not a front man?
            I think Collins with latest dancing show/cakes is angling for it, as is her fanboy whaleoil. Lets face it, there are no candidates for a statesman, as Key has set the standard, and being a statesman is not a priority!

            • Scintilla

              I think you’re on the money that Collins is angling for it, she’s such a viper though! The Nats might be happy to hide behind her while she cracks the whip, but I’m not so sure they can sell her to the public. Be interesting to see if anyone shiny and new suddenly vaults up the ranks.

              • b waghorn

                If Collins gets in she’ll last as long as pm as Shipley did so her getting the job might not be a bad thing.

              • whateva next?

                Nats were in the wilderness before Key, just as UK Tories were after Thatcher, until shining boy Cameron came along. Similar marshmallow faces, so I am not sure what the next design will be?
                Agree Collins has lost all credibility with public, nearly felt sorry for her desperate attempts to claw back some of what she has lost, until I remembered just how blatantly she abused her power.It’s her own choice to lose all dignity now.

          • whateva next?

            sometimes I even wonder about Nash, he seems to doing his own show, so perhaps he could be like Winston and go either way, claiming the “middle ground”?

    • Clemgeopin 8.5

      “Who will replace ShonKEY when the Sabin sh*t hits the fan?”

      Depends on the stink and how putrid it is.

  9. Penny Bright 9

    Good on you Tracey.

    I didn’t know your Winebox history.

    Are you still a practicing lawyer?

    Kind regards

    Penny Bright

    • Tracey 9.1

      Penny, haven’t held a practising certificate in many years. Crammed alot into my short time including the periphery of the winebox affair…

      journos overhearing police radios discussing invaders on the roof of Citibank… next day reporting it was street kids…. STREETKIDS on Citibank roof. Banks was knee-deep in it too playing patsy police minister.

      • Sans Cle 9.1.1

        Tracey, a question! Do you know whether anything came of the NZ Law Society’s shadow report to the UN Human Rights Council, which referred to the enactment of five Acts that were inconsistent with the New Zealand Bill of Rights? I recall this issue before the last election (but can’t find much since), and wonder whether this was ever pursued, whether the NZLS did anything else about it, or whether you or anyone else knows anything about it?
        NZLS press release from a year ago here

        • Tracey

          i was doing some work on human rights last week and re read their report. it is pretty damning but to my knowledge our PM scoffed at it cos he knows better.

          but i believe the report does form part of some international reporting on our performance but found nothing official.

  10. Draco T Bastard 10


  11. Murray Rawshark 11

    I’ve asked lprent if I can make a statement and he said to submit something and if it didn’t break any rules, he’d drag it out of spam. Thanks for that. I’ll stick to a few bullet points because it may leave what I say less open to misinterpretation. I don’t like having false motives ascribed to me more than anyone else does.

    1. The sequence of events is that I had decided not to participate in Stephanie’s posts and to take a holiday of an undetermined length before I noticed that I’d been banned. I can’t comment on the order that anything else happened.

    2. Stephanie thinks I broke the rule about ascribing posts, or even the site, to the Labour Party. I didn’t think I had, but I am not the judge here.

    3. I mentioned Labour because Stephanie is known to be a member and I saw her post as fairly typical of what other Labour Party people are saying about the Northland buy election. I should have been clearer in why I mentioned Labour, but I have a suspicion that a chance was seen and an opportunity taken. My fault for opening the door. I think the left in general needs to have a good look at why only an old conservative had any chance of taking one of the most neglected electorates in Aotearoa off a NAct rocked by scandal. There are only about 2000 Alan Titfords in Northland. Why do so many others reject Labour. I don’t think Andrew Little deserves very much credit for taking the only sensible path.

    4. The solidarity that many have shown warmed the cockles of me heart on a personal level. On a political level, I think it’s a mistake, even though I probably would have done the same sort of thing. This discussion is too easily framed as gender specific, and it has been. I don’t think it is, but I only know about my own thoughts and motivations. So thanks guys, but my opinion is that it’s better to keep commenting. I was going to take a break anyway, and I think TS needs your voices.

    Whakawhetai ki a koutou i aku hoa katoa , a ka he te ora pai.

    [lprent: Allowing a comment afterward a ban is my normal practice. As is my usual commentary on it.

    Read the damn about, which clearly says in the self-martyrdom offenses

    We write here in our personal capacities and the opinions that are expressed on the blog are individual unless expressly stated otherwise (see the policy). We do not write on behalf of any organization.

    So unless you see something written in a post or a comment that says something like “X is the Y spokesperson for Z issues”, then trying to attribute ulterior motives to a author or post on the site is simply stupid and makes you fair game for the next moderator who reads it. The policy clearly states

    Describing the site as having ulterior motivations, being a tool of someone, or generally being ignorant of where you have come to. When visiting a blog site it always pays to read the About pages before making a fool of yourself. Then you will know what the site is about. Failure to do so is just bad bad manners

    Either you didn’t or you failed to remember that authors don’t write here on behalf of anyone else unless they say so.

    Those two paragraphs are there for a specific reason. It is the classic troll technique. Poke a label on a author with a fucking great big hairpin and then proceed to use use it to torment the author in question. Any author gets pissed off with being required by the site to not confuse their work and volunteer roles with what they write on this site as an individual. It is even more infuriating when someone acts like a fool and doesn’t separate the two (and yes Penny, I am looking at you).

    Most of us are involved in various organizations in various roles. Having some mindless fool attacking the organizations that we work for or volunteer for because we express our opinions here is going to have a chilling effect. We’d have to either give up working for them or do what I have done – stopped working for anything except this site and my job. In my case, part of that is lack of time. But a fair chunk of it has been because of the lazy and stupid twin tools of Martyn Bradbury and Cameron Slater trying to attack the NZLP through me, when I haven’t been heavily involved for years and was never involved in any post above branch.

    Murray, I’d suggest that you and the other unthinking fools who have perpetuated this topic for the last 3-4 days think the downstream consequences through rapidly. Because clearly that individual vs distinction is not being respected.

    So I’m about to get extremely intolerant of people who do not show respect for it. As far as I am now concerned it is now a behaviour that ranks close to deliberate ‘outing’ as an intimidation technique and is one designed to bring open dialogue and robust debate to a halt. So it becomes time to slice. ]

    • tracey 11.1

      Again, despite Stephanie asking, no one, including Murray, has been able to come back with examples of other bannings where the banning author cops the flak Stephanie did on this one and previous bans she has invoked.

      A number of post links were posted by me to highlight Stephanie’s point and one commenter (lurgee) chose one of them which he/she considered supported the equality of treatment between Stephanie and Lprent but stated he/she did so randomly and did not read any other of the links

      Otherwise, to my knowledge no one else went through them and provided counter thread links. Greywarbler did try by falsely attributing a similar so-called “Stephanie” banning style to me. I corrected greywarbler by stating I don’t have banning power here. No apology as yet or acknowledgement the claim was false and no link to prove the claim was correct.

      That is how an argument of this kind ought to go. A person makes an assertion. Another denies it. Then the first person posts what they consider to be evidence, and the first denier posts counter argument and counter evidence.

      To date only Stephanie has posted any evidence to support her claims.

      We don’t have to like Authors. But if we want to have people write posts for us to hurl stuff at, we need to respect the role they are taking in putting their head over the parapet.

      Behind the scenes the Authors have had many private disagreements over topics showing we don’t all agree with each other and that is also shown by Author to Author comments within public posts. That is, imo, a good thing. We are not towing some kind of party line here at TS no matter what some like to perpetuate. I have seen no evidence of it from the backroom.

      So, in closing this was about banning for breach of the rules. Liking or not liking the poster ought not affect the consequences for breaching the rules. That would be cronyism.

      • Pasupial 11.1.1


        We don’t have to like Commenters. But if we want to have people write the majority of the blog’s content, we need to respect the role they are taking in putting their head over the parapet.

        I’ve not wanted to be using examples from others of contesting bans, because I’ve not been aware of the context. This is probably the closest I’ve come previously myself (trimmed for space from my imbalance comment):

        Open mike 17/09/2014

        • tracey

          I read your link. Now re-read the thread currently in dispute. How much personal observation about lprent is there in your link and the thread we are talking about?

          have you looked through the links I posted?

        • weka

          “I’ve not wanted to be using examples from others of contesting bans”

          It’s not about contesting bans, it’s about how it is done. That is the point that tracey has been making. If you look at how people respond to Lynn’s moderation (i.e. how they contest his bans) and compare them to Stephanie’s moderation, there are obvious differences. Likewise the other authors. Commenters treat Stephanie differently.

          If people don’t want to think about this in terms of gender, try this. It’s because she is an outspoken feminist author who doesn’t behave in ways that some people expect her to as a woman (hence the comparison with karol). The other author to consider is TRP, who wrote a challenging post on rape culture, got called out on a number of things, is pretty blunt and annoying as shit at times in his debate style, yet he didn’t garner the kind of mischaracterisation and personal criticism that Stephanie does. Stephanie pushes some people’s buttons. Some of us are suggesting it’s useful to look at how people react to that when they don’t react in the same way to Lynn or other authors.

      • Bill 11.1.2

        I simply didn’t understand the point in linking to other bans.

        I mean, if moderating style – the actual mechanics of how it is carried out – is seen as irrelevant, then sure, it would seem odd that one mod gets challenged and none of the other examples given attract any such reaction. ( Gender becomes the ‘go to’ explanation in that case.)

        Put how moderating is carried out back in the mix – and I’ve given my tuppence-worth on that in the internal discussion (expanding slightly below)* – and an explanation for the disparity, other than it being about gender, is there to be taken on board – or not, as the case may be.

        Now, given some of the individual commenters who protested, and given those particular commenters past opinions on and awareness of gender, I’m finding it a hell of a stretch to put the whole stramash down solely to gender. In saying that, I’m not saying that gender wasn’t a driver for some commenters and I’m not saying that some commenters didn’t jump on a convenient band-wagon. Neither am I saying that personal gripes didn’t come into play for some commenters.

        * a gentle shoulder tap followed by a swingeing right hook might not be a good idea. Asking for something not to be repeated and then apparently banning on that point although it wasn’t repeated also might not be a good idea. Giving warnings in normal reply/comment and seemingly assuming they will be seen in the same light as a bold admonishment within a commenters submission….meh, might not be a good idea.

        • tracey


          My point, not made clearly enough it seems, is that if Stephanie’s assertion that there was a gender aspect was wrong dispute it and point to evidence of its wrongness. She posted her evidence for her claim (the links I posted). Then those who disagree should dispute her evidence, argue down her evidence and provide contrary evidence. In grown up world that is how you engage in a discourse of clarification, education and possible position shifting. Only Lurgee obliged, with one link commented on, but at lurgee challenged the proferred evidence.

          I don’t know that I have put it all down to gender but it was the gender accusation that seemed to escalate the thing and Stephanie (through me) posted her links as evidence of her claim. Rebutt her/the evidence Bill, rebutt it and put that aspect to bed.

          Murray being likeable is also a factor imo. Had it been PG I bet the response would be different. So that’s another factor.

          As for your last paragraph I look forward to the next extensive and personality dissection on an Lprent ban which was not even a tap on the shoulder but straight to the punch.

          I will support an Author’s banning in public when they can show the rules were broken and they can point to another moderator’s ban on a similar point.

          • weka

            First paragraph, this is so important. It was like the quality of debate and critical thinking went out the window, and all of a sudden it was many people reacting and using characterisation of the person rather than addressing the content of what she had said (not everyone obviously). That to me more than anything else suggests that there is more to this than people just wanting to support Murray, or thinking that it was unfair.

          • felix

            ” She posted her evidence for her claim (the links I posted). Then those who disagree should dispute her evidence, argue down her evidence and provide contrary evidence.”

            There’s no logic chain to follow there Tracey. The assertion is that gender is THE defining factor in any difference in response to different moderators.

            As Bill implies, and I’m sure he’ll correct me if I misunderstand him, the list of links may be evidence of “differing responses”, but it would only be evidence of “differing responses due to (x)” if the moderation in each instance was more or less identical.

            (As another example of this reasoning, PG is pretty convinced that he gets treated differently to others here because of his political views. As “evidence” to back his assertion, he indicates that (a) he gets treated differently to other commenters, and (b) he represents a different political view.)

            • weka

              “The assertion is that gender is THE defining factor in any difference in response to different moderators.”

              I think gender is an issue and I’m not making that assertion. Who is?

              Why do you think that people respond to Stephanie differently than other authors?

              • felix

                That was the assertion from the beginning. It’s the assertion Stephanie made. It’s the assertion Tracey is still making.

                I also have little doubt that gender is an issue.

                I don’t feel it would advance the discussion to go into my opinions about alternate explanations (at this point).

              • weka

                Ok. I just don’t see it as such an absolute (in what SR or tracey are saying either).

                “I don’t feel it would advance the discussion to go into my opinions about alternate explanations (at this point).”

                Fair enough. It does leave tracey with a dilemma though. If people are rejecting the gender hypothesis but are not willing to go into the reasons why some react to Stephanie the way they do, we are indeed at a stalemate.

                (one of the most obvious differences between Lynn and SR that I’m surprised no-one has pointed out is that you argue with Lynn at your own peril. He reaches his limit much more quickly and so people are much more wary of him. Stephanie is way more tolerant. Ironic, right? Lynn even said as much a few days after the whole thing started).

            • tracey

              I didn’t say that Stephanie’s links proved her point definitively felix. I said that Stephanie found those links, I posted them as she believes they support her view that the attack (as she sees it) on her decision was different to how other moderators are treated.

              The difference between what you attribute to PG and the links I posted from Stephanies search is that she actually asserts thos elinks support her viewpoint. So, look at the links, point out where they don’t support her assertion.

              BUT Bill appears to be saying, prove to me that what Stephanie asserts actually exists before I will look at her links asserting what she asserts.prove to me that there is actually something to prove before I will look at your proof.

              • felix

                What I’m saying is that evidence of different responses is not the same thing as evidence of a particular reason for different responses.

                • weka

                  Sure, but we’re talking about generating understanding here not scientific proof. Plus some of the argument seemed to be around people not accepting that reactions to Stephanie are different than to other authors. I think that one is demonstratable.

                  • felix

                    “Sure, but we’re talking about generating understanding here not scientific proof. “

                    I agree. Which I why I wish Tracey wouldn’t keep insisting that the list of links provides some sort of evidential proof that has to be formally refuted.

                    • weka

                      I think she is pointing in a direction that would be useful for some people to consider. My recall of the whole thing is that the idea that gender was an issue was rejected so out of hand right from the start that we couldn’t even explore it. Tracey’s suggestion looks like a starting point for gaining better understanding.

                    • felix

                      That’s helpful, thank you.

                • tracey

                  What I am sayingis that if someone is being treated differently to another in their group (in this situation moderators) and they suggest;

                  1. a reason they are being treated differently
                  2. some links they suggest support that reason

                  It behooves those who don’t agree to have a look and examine the profferred evidence, rather than just saying “she is wrong to think that is the reason”

                  The links may well reveal another possible explanation for the asserted different treatment. So, read them and assert it.

                  • felix

                    I’m not saying she’s wrong. I’m saying the links don’t support her assertion.

              • weka

                +1 PG’s assertions are easily disprovable by looking at what the content of what he claims backs him up. What I see tracey doing is suggesting that we apply the same kind of rigour here. Treating it as a thought experiment works too.

          • Bill

            Tracey, I’ve just re-read the ‘Winston takes..’ thread. And it’s a fcking dogs dinner.

            Can you show me where the gender accusation came in? ( ie, “..but it was the gender accusation that seemed to escalate the thing..”)

            Meanwhile, if it’s not principally about gender, then how am I, or anyone else for that matter, meant to proceed in showing that it isn’t wasn’t? Might as well ask people to prove that it’s not about a predilection for shagging sheep – that’s not me being facetious btw, I’m only trying to show the logical impossibility involved.

            I’ve provided some (quite a few) alternative and definitely observable and contrastable reasons for why ‘blow-back’. They don’t have to be taken on board or discussed and they could be wrong, but they’ve been put out there.

            As for Murray being likable…whatever. Pretty sure I banned him under his previous handle. I certainly remember becoming way pissed off with him.

            Meanwhile, straight to the punch moderating is fine. It’s clear. Giving space for perceptions of inconsistency and for lack of clarity within a single instance of moderating creates mayhem though. ‘Bad’ escalation…ie, not escalation per se, – creates chaos.

            And finally, here’s an example of escalating bullshit and somewhat scrambling bad moderation. (You’ll have to read from comment 9 all the way through to 13.1 for context) http://thestandard.org.nz/key-withdraws-promise-to-resign/#comment-982920

            And as a footnote, you’ll see how that feeds directly into Gos’s ban the next day that was one of the examples coming up on the list of bans you provided via Stephanie the other day.

            • weka

              Can you show me where the gender accusation came in? ( ie, “..but it was the gender accusation that seemed to escalate the thing..”)

              It starts with SR’s moderation in this comment.

              rawshark-yeshe …
              28 March 2015 at 10:46 pm

              Is there like a ‘court of appeal’ we can use ?

              [Stephanie: Go complain to lprent about it if you like. I’m frankly sick of constantly having my moderation questioned just because some men apparently can’t handle a woman telling them “no”.]

              Winston takes Northland

              Of interest to me is that I took SR’s comment to refer to historic examples as much as the current comments, and not necessarily confined to ts. This is why I am somewhat surprised at the number of people taking it as a personal criticism that they are sexist.

              • Bill

                Hmm. Okay. Thanks.

                • tracey

                  Hmmm you read it Bill and didn tthink ah, I see, stephanie is asserting some men cant handle a woman telling them no, but you neevr thought there was a gender issue being raised? Genuine question cos that suggests a major hurdle in any discussion like this when some genuinely didnt see her comment as being about gender issues?

                  • Bill

                    I had been aware of that comment. I wasn’t aware it was the origins of the whole gender angle.

            • tracey

              stephanie said something along the lines of some men can’t take a woman saying no.

              another poster added that stephanie was saying all men are rapists.

              • felix

                She said her moderation was questioned “just because” some men etc etc.

                • weka

                  Which I took to be a colloquialism by a frustrated feminist blogger. Whereas I think you and others have taken it as a definitive statement that means ‘only because’.

                  • felix

                    Yeah that seems like a reasonable reading too. However, and without wanting to re-litigate Murray’s banning (which I haven’t disputed)…

                    …What happens if you applied that standard (colloquiallism, she said it but she didn’t really mean it, figure of speech, imprecise language due to frustration etc) to Murray’s comment?

                    What happens if you applied it to the commenter who accused her of saying all men are rapists?

                    Do you see the difficulty in accepting that sort of looseness of language for some comments and not for others?

                    • weka

                      I would see it as a matter of degrees. If Stephanie had made her comment as a commenter it was always going to be way less inflammatory than the all men are rapists one (you really can’t use that term except in a very careful way without it being highly inflammatory, because it is not only incredibly loaded, it also has a long history of being used very inaccurately and as a way to attack feminists).

                      Comparing to Murray’s comment, I don’t think the meaning of the content is so important, it’s how the interactions unfolded, commenter to author. When it comes down to it, Stephanie’s post Stephanie’s rules. Or Lynn, Bill, TRP, tracey etc. If people want to argue about a moderation they can AND they run the risk of pissing off the moderator. For me it’s really that simple.

                      There have been times when people have successfully argued with a moderator on meaning of content, but it seems like a hit and miss affair because people often misjudge the mood of the moderator. Is this unfair? Well I’d argue it’s as unfair on the mods as the commenters, and in the end it’s a big place and the authors only have so much time, so I guess I am arguing for the overall pragmatics rather than the principle in any given situation.

                      “Do you see the difficulty in accepting that sort of looseness of language for some comments and not for others?”

                      Not for me personally, but that aside I can’t see how the moderators could standardise such a thing. They all have very different styles and tolerances, and some vary within themselves from day to day.

                      Red has made the point that it’s harder for people to judge the line between critiquing an author and attacking them. I don’t find that so hard, but others do, and it seems to be when something they hold dear is being challenged. The standard is a hard place to be at times, so it’s understandable that commenters get frustrated and overstep the bounds (esp when they’ve invested a lot of time and energy in the place).

                      I just want the authors to be protected, and the women authors in particular, especially now that karol has gone (and if I am guessing correctly for some of the reasons she has gone). In that sense Stephanie is worth ten of Murray or you or me, not because she is a better person, but because she’s the one writing the posts (and writing from perspectives we need).

                    • felix

                      I’m not going to comment on the whole moderation aspect. It’s none of my business.

                      As to the “all men are rapists” thing, the commenter, by the same standard of preciseness you accept for Stephanie’s comment, didn’t actually accuse Stephanie of saying that at all.

                      So why was that comment such a big deal to you, and Stephanie’s not?

                    • RedLogix

                      When it comes down to it, Stephanie’s post Stephanie’s rules. Or Lynn, Bill, TRP, tracey etc. If people want to argue about a moderation they can AND they run the risk of pissing off the moderator. For me it’s really that simple.

                      As you know I used to moderate here for many years. Out of that I learnt:

                      1. It’s a really bad idea to both participate in the comment thread and attempt to moderate it at the same time.

                      2. It’s really important (and often quite difficult) to avoid mis-using moderation as a way of appearing to tilt the argument. I lost count of how often the person on the receiving end would hit the victim sauce – and hard. Sometimes not without justification. Getting into an explanation/discussion about it however was always a losing proposition. And utterly thankless.

                      3. Moderation is not a tool for making everyone feel good. My preference was not to intervene unless it was a grossly blatant or tediously repeated offense – or I could cover my arse by pointing to Site Policy.

                      4. Keep it simple. Trying to be too clever for your own good was a mistake I made quite a few times. 🙂

                      And that I’d suggest is about as good as you can hope for.

                    • weka

                      “So why was that comment such a big deal to you, and Stephanie’s not?”

                      I’ve just explained that felix.

                    • felix

                      I do take your point about the author-to-commenter relationship. I guess I’m just not convinced that it’s practicable to have two completely opposite methods of deriving the meaning from an author’s vs a commenter’s words.

                    • weka

                      I don’t think that’s what I am doing (more I am saying whether meaning is more important than relationship varies depending on who is talking). But this is getting too hard to follow now (too much up and down scrolling to see what is being said), so am happy to leave it for now 🙂

                      Red, thanks for the summary, always good to have people’s wisdom from experience.

                    • felix

                      “But this is getting too hard to follow now (too much up and down scrolling to see what is being said)”

                      I think that’s something we can all agree on 😉

                      I’m glad we came back to the discussion today. I don’t want to flog a dead horse but I think there’s value in having it. I’m learning from it.

                    • weka

                      me too, and it’s good to see some considered conversation going on beyond the initial more heated discussion. Thanks.

                • tracey

                  yup, and another poster said she was thereby accusing all men of being rapists.

                  she posted links elsewhere (not on the public blog) and I posted them as her evidence of her claim that she was being treated differently by commenters because she was a woman.

                  If folks prefer “it is, no it isn’t, it is, no, I dont think it is” as a substitute for discourse they could just say so. I have read many commenters over time, and many demand evidence for assertions they consider wrong.

                  I’ve written this many times, I don’t know how I can make my point on the evidential/critical thinking aspect clearer. To close my part on this, it is not about whether *I* think Stephanie is right or wrong but about whether what she raises could be true, and such (if played any part) reflects on all who visit, read and post if true.

                  I also note Weka’s observation about how karol was responded to by some here. To my knowledge she rarely (if eve0 resorted to ad hominem or personal attacks of any kind) yet she was on the receiving end of many.

                  Yes, male authors have left. I do not know a full history of TS.

                  What I do know is that passion is good. I think many on the Right are passionless or when they have passion it is about things like Rugby and cricket matches and money. But the Left are not without their own demons. And on this blog, gender seems (particularly) seems to be a major trigger for many.

                  I disclose my background in terms of sexual abuse. I do so openly to show that I have been a victim. I don’t do it for special treatment. I accept it plays a part in my responses to issues but it does not mean I am reacting from a purely emotional place on these issues.

                  • felix

                    ” it is not about whether *I* think Stephanie is right or wrong but about whether what she raises could be true, and such (if played any part) reflects on all who visit, read and post if true.”

                    That’s an important point, thanks. I’m going to (again) leave this alone for a bit to digest what you and weka have said today.

        • marty mars

          I’m not sure how this can be a ‘safe’ discussion when moderators are discussing commenters and other moderators and the subject is emotive.

          Tracey do you think my choice to stop commenting was based upon gender or gender politics?

          You see I don’t really see where this can go – yes/no/maybe – then what?

          • tracey

            Did you think that those who suggested that Julian Assange ought not be excused from facing any possible sexual assault charges were also supporting his extradition to the States? Cos I can see how you could hold the former and not the later.

            It is possible to hold several positions within one discourse.

            I am choosing to address one part of what went on.

            I am also choosing to support her decision to ban Murray because the transgression fir the rules (as had been discussed by others more experienced than me behind the scenes). Would every author have banned Murray? I don’t know.

            But again a thread which ought to have been about another topic became an exchange by some about gender issues, including one person asserting Stephanie was suggesting ALL men are rapists. That was a major escalation.

            • marty mars

              “became an exchange by some about gender issues”

              Yep by some, not all.

              It certainly seemed to me that what happened on that thread was that some commenters chose to dump their stuff and they directed it at stephanie. Personally I can see how and why it escalated and I think gender was a big part of it – not all of it but enough to call it that way.

              I really don’t feel comfortable talking about stephanie, not to her so I’m not going to go into my reasons for choosing to go silent but I can say it had nothing to do with her gender.

        • felix

          + a billion

          • rawshark-yeshe

            With great trepidation, there is something that stays with me now. Felix and I were there as it happened, before it exploded.

            1. Murray never questioned being banned. (I believe he was gone before it happened.)

            2. Marty Mars never questioned Stephanie or the banning; he simply regretted the loss of Murray’s voice.

            3. I WAS THE FIRST TO QUESTION THE BANNING, I tried to make light of it in the spirit of the evening’s celebration.

            4. Therefore: I am left to wonder — did Stephanie incorrectly assume that I am a man and likewise Felix is a man ? Certainly Jenny Kirk made that assumption and chastised us both a little later — but would Stephanie have retaliated/replied possibly less vigorously and differently if she had understood it was two fairly reasonable women questioning and that it had ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to do with gender at that time in that specific post ?

            In fact, I was so concerned for her, by her responses, I identified myself as a woman for the very first time on TS in an effort to find some space for discussion. I did not want to, but it seemed sensible to qualify where I was coming from. ( Ironic I had to state my gender to prove it was non-gender specific!!)

            Then, as we know .. the discussion broke loose.

            Still on quiet away time, but Felix and I were there as it unravelled and the thread had nuance that was lost as it grew like a beanstalk.

            Apologies if this is no use.

            So a warm hello to you all .. and see you again soon.

            • weka

              Thanks yeshe.

              Are you saying that felix is a woman?

              I was also there at the time it unfolded. Here’s what Stephanie said,

              [Stephanie: Go complain to lprent about it if you like. I’m frankly sick of constantly having my moderation questioned just because some men apparently can’t handle a woman telling them “no”.]

              I took that to mean primarily Murray, and secondly men on ts who object to her moderation (in general not just this thread), and thirdly, just the whole shit of being a feminist blogger and having to deal with this stuff over and over and over again. I can see that you might assume that she was referring primarily to you and felix, but I was reading it as her increasing annoyance at having to justify her moderating in a culture that allows someone like Lynn to moderate at least as bluntly.

              Of course, like everyone else, I have no idea what SR was thinking.

              If you look at her original moderation comment, she is clearly responding to Murray being snarky about her warning and blatantly miscontrusing what her warning meant. That, and for saying she represents Labour, is why he got banned. This is entirely consistent with ts moderation culture.

              A whole lot of things happened then. Felix wanted to talk about the second aspect of Murray’s comment (which he thought SR had misinterpreted, and he thought it was possible to have that conversation separately). You wanted the ban reversed. I wanted to support SR’s right to moderate as she saw fit, and then I wanted us all to look at the possibility of gender issues involved etc, and pretty soon too many comments started to get personal about SR, which is against the rules.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                Hi Weka … this was the group of comments .. you decide what Felix meant. And if you didn’t know, I think it’s a fair bet Stephanie didn’t either .. so she might have thought she was being ‘ganged up on’ by two difficult men. Now .. here’s a question then — should it have made any difference?

                Maybe Felix will answer, but this is from the very night …

                jenny kirk
                28 March 2015 at 11:12 pm
                You may not realise it – guys – but you are all being overly defensive – which rather pinpoints what Stephanie is telling you.

                felix …
                29 March 2015 at 12:04 am
                You may not realise it jenny but we are not all guys, which rather doesn’t.

                rawshark-yeshe …
                29 March 2015 at 12:17 am

                and see you in two weeks when Murray is permitted back — marty mars and I are off voluntarily with him in the injustice of it.

                • weka

                  Yeshe, you can take that up with Jenny, I don’t know who she was referring to and I don’t see how it relates to SR, other than that you are making some assumptions that SR may or may not have made assumptions of her own (you’d have to ask her). I’ve offered you an alternate explanation for SR’s comments, or at least how I took them at the time.

                  People assume I am a man on occassion, I can’t say it bothers me particularly. I don’t know what I would have done in your situation but I hope I’d be able to look at the political and not just focus on the personal.

                  Also, it wasn’t just that SR used the word ‘men’. Later there was an almost blanket denial that gender could be an issue (I think you said that). You don’t have to be a man to have a problem with a stroppy woman.

                  felix, “There were a number of other commenters in that thread who identified themselves as women after being called men.”

                  Important, if you assume that SR’s comment was about only people in that conversation and that it applied to all people who weren’t obviously women. Assumptions I didn’t make, so why did you? I can see why you might take what she said personally, but not why you should take it personally.

                  (as an aside, Stephanie has written about gender, including transgender issues, so is no novice to the problems of making assumptions. I’m not saying she didn’t make a mistake here and make assumptions, but it doesn’t seem necessarily the most likely explanation. What I’m getting at here is why people went down a certain track instead of looking at the many).

                  • rawshark-yeshe

                    Weka .. honestly, I assume nothing. I didn’t take anything personally anything SR or anyone has said.

                    We are each delightfully human which is actually a magnificent privilege, and we forget. We all make mistakes and this fact is worthy of great laughter. We can always do better, and this is my daily intentional weft, along with causing no harm.

                    This is whatever it is. Each perception is true to the one perceiving it. Isn’t that amazing ? Everybody is right all the time! In fact, I think it’s a miracle we get along as well as we all do most of the time!

                    Time now for me to eat too much chocolate and enjoy breathing in the sunshine. So Happy Oestre to you, Stephanie and everyone who has an opinion! Each is 100% right for themselves — amazing fact.

                    So now Oestre is about rebirth and cleansing, and a lunar eclipse … yippee ! See you in a couple of weeks.

                • weka

                  “and see you in two weeks when Murray is permitted back — marty mars and I are off voluntarily with him in the injustice of it.”

                  Grrr, he coped a fair ban, entirely separate from the gender argument.


              • felix

                To avoid confusion, no I am not a woman. There were a number of other commenters in that thread who identified themselves as women after being called men.

                edit: sorry yeshe, I didn’t mean to imply that I wasn’t a guy, but that not all of us commenting were guys.

            • Tracey

              warm hello back to you.

              enjoy your break and thanks for your contribution to this.

              • rawshark-yeshe

                @tracey 🙂 thx.

                The wonderful Ms magazine ( those were the days!) had a cover in the mid 70’s featuring a cover drawing of two women, one sitting at a keyboard with another standing next to her.

                First speech bubble:

                “Do you know feminists have no sense of humour?”

                Second speech bubble”

                ” No, but if you can hum a few bars I’m sure I’ll recognise it!”

                And a very happy oestre to you.

                • Tracey

                  And to you I subscribed to Ms in the days when you had to order it direct from the USA cos it wasn’t stocked here. One it went glossy with ads for cosmetics I stopped subscribing cos so much space that had been devoted to interesting articles was lost.

                  BTW that gag always reminds me of the PG Tips ads with the chimps as a moving crew carrying a piano down the stairs…

                  “Dad, do ya know the piano is on me foot?

                  You hum it son, I’ll play it.

                  • rawshark-yeshe


                    yes, the mag lost it didn’t it ? The bill paying imperative etc etc. Sigh …

        • weka

          * a gentle shoulder tap followed by a swingeing right hook might not be a good idea. Asking for something not to be repeated and then apparently banning on that point although it wasn’t repeated also might not be a good idea. Giving warnings in normal reply/comment and seemingly assuming they will be seen in the same light as a bold admonishment within a commenters submission….meh, might not be a good idea.

          You may very well be right about all of that Bill, but it still doesn’t answer the question of why Stephanie gets such personalised reactions whereas Lynn and others don’t.

          (aside that, I also support Stephanie, or any author, if they don’t want to take a lot of time to be kinder simply because of the effort involved. But I do agree with you about the confusion that can be caused by using regular comments instead of bold).

          Now, given some of the individual commenters who protested, and given those particular commenters past opinions on and awareness of gender, I’m finding it a hell of a stretch to put the whole stramash down solely to gender.

          A couple of things. One is that I haven’t seen anyone say it’s SOLELY a gender issue (apart from people reacting to the gender comment). The other is that some of the comments were obviously gendered, and many were not. It’s understandable that people would react to what they perceived of as accusations of them personally as being sexist, but this misses the points that (a) the ‘accusation’ wasn’t personalised (so why take offense instead of checking out?) and (b) there’s still the context of being a feminist blogger and all that entails. I haven’t really seen any acknowledgement of that last one.

          Not all sexism is conscious or individual. To me this is such an obvious statement to make on a political blog I don’t really understand why it’s not a given. If I were one of the commenters upset about a regular and popular commenter’s ban, and the moderator was say Māori and had suggested there were racism issues at play the first thing I would want to know is what am I missing? What as a Pākehā am I not understanding here?

          (fwiw, as an aside, and I’m not going to go looking for specifics to back this up, but I’ve seen similar criticisms made of karol when she’s tried to address issues of cultural/institutional/structural sexism).

      • greywarshark 11.1.3

        We don’t have to like Authors. But if we want to have people write posts for us to hurl stuff at, we need to respect the role they are taking in putting their head over the parapet.

        I suggest ‘we don’t have to like commenters either,’ but it you want people who are really interested in having an intelligent debate about matters that respect is shown for them too. If they are saying unintelligent things just say so, and by having such rigid over-sensitivity there is needless dissension. Rule breaking is likely to be frequent when the rules are couched in a way that they become easy to break. It is a pity that they seem to have become as if etched on Moses stone. Why not change them and allow commenters who have a real interest in the blog to have some input instead of treating some of us like children.

        Finally – I did think that some adult democratic spirit would break through here but there seems to be a tight circled groupthink that pervades the rules and that seems impervious so I think I have broken too many of them with criticism so I had better leave altogether. I have enjoyed the blog but feel it is not going in the right direction to provide the best forum and the role it could do, as a think tank, ideas gatherer etc.

        • tracey

          Did you find the link to me banning someone in an authoritarian way greywarshark?

        • weka

          Rule breaking is likely to be frequent when the rules are couched in a way that they become easy to break. It is a pity that they seem to have become as if etched on Moses stone. Why not change them and allow commenters who have a real interest in the blog to have some input instead of treating some of us like children.

          And yet the rules are actually pretty flexible with some specific exceptions (don’t attribute intelligence to the machine, don’t make connections between authors and political parties, don’t make defammatory comments). I think the real problem here is that the rules are flexible, the moderators diverse in how they apply them, and some people don’t want to learn the culture of the place. I also think it’s hard for some people to learn the culture of the place, part of that is time (eg it’s easier for me becaues I spend a lot of time here), part of it is experience with online communities (newbies get slammed hard for this) and part of it is differences in social intelligence. It is one of the downsides of the way ts is run, but I’d struggle to see a fix for it given it’s run by volunteers.

          Red just made a great point in OM that lately people find it harder to see the difference between criticising an author’s post and attacking the author.

          Finally – I did think that some adult democratic spirit would break through here but there seems to be a tight circled groupthink that pervades the rules and that seems impervious so I think I have broken too many of them with criticism so I had better leave altogether. I have enjoyed the blog but feel it is not going in the right direction to provide the best forum and the role it could do, as a think tank, ideas gatherer etc.

          This place has never been a democracy. I don’t know of any political blog that operates like that.

          Finally, I’m sick of people projecting their shit. There’s nothing wrong with criticism here, it’s encouraged by default. People who think this is the issue really don’t get it.

          • tracey

            “Finally, I’m sick of people projecting their shit. There’s nothing wrong with criticism here, it’s encouraged by default. People who think this is the issue really don’t get it.”

            ^^^^^^^^^^^ THIS

          • the pigman

            Cool, just so we’re clear, I think that SR was also projecting her shit when she gender-fied the banning reaction and made it about “men who couldn’t handle being told “no” by women”.

            You two have relentlessly tried to pretend that comment was something other than what it plainly was.

            Sad to lose greywarbler permanently, if we have, even if he thinks I’m a RW trole :p

            • weka

              Please stop telling me what I am doing. There is no pretend. I’ve said what I think happened, and I’ve done so in an open, let’s talk about it kind of way, not the defining reality thing you’ve just pulled. None of us know what SR intended or meant, apart from herself. Which leaves us with an opportunitly to look at group dynamics, politics, and learn something. Try taking responsibility for your own actions.

              “I think that SR was also projecting her shit when she gender-fied the banning reaction and made it about “men who couldn’t handle being told “no” by women”.”

              Maybe she was, maybe she wasn’t, maybe both. Make your case and see how you get on. Myself, I can’t see how you can be doing anything other than guessing. I’d love to see you put that in context.

              • the pigman

                Just so I’m clear, it’s fine to tell others that they’re “projecting their shit”, because that’s not telling people what they’re doing, right?

                Save me the bother and aggravation of re-reading the sorry saga, and re-read her comments in Bill’s Assange thread and other posts in the ~7 days prior to her Winston thread. It’s the context which establishes the implication in her comment as unmissable. And while I’m happy to put my hand up and say it was unhelpful to capitalisedly pull out the “all men are rapists” meme in response, it certainly was on point, that SR in essence identified people who disagreed with her as being unable to accept a woman telling them no (and yes, by extension, rapists).

                Edit: it was kind of you to tone down the language in your original post above. You have saved fisiani the shock and psychic pain of seeing naughty words. :p

                • weka

                  Thanks for the last bit, my initial comment was over the top. I feel like I’ve put a lot of effort into examining what’s going on here, so am not really in the mood for being told I’m pretending. Am also not in the mood for the kind of reductionism you are doing.

                  How well do you know Stephanie? I don’t know her personally, but I’ve followed her online in various spaces for quite some time and I don’t agree with the implication in your summation. eg I thought her opening salvo in the Assange thread was unwise, and unfair on Bill, and was not going to do anything but create a shit storm. But she was right about what she said. And, I understand why she did it (I think) and the importance of that.

                  (btw, there is nothing inherently contradictory between projecting one’s shit and being right in one’s observations about gender. It’s not like the authors have to be saints).

                  I just listened to Marilyn Waring’s interview by Kim Hill (from a few Saturdays ago). For someone of my age (a decade and a bit younger than Waring), it was manna in the breadth of her experience esp over time, in her intelligence, and the fact that she is still so deeply and brilliantly committed to feminism after 40 years. At the end Hill reads out the text from a book of photo essays on older women: Waring says of herself “passionate feminist, daughter, sister, friend, having some fun, passing it all along to fearless, young, creative, troublemakers.”

                  She’s talking about women like Stephanie, who for all her faults in delivery doesn’t deserve the shit she gets but knows along with the rest of us what happens to women who speak out just that bit too much. So by all means critique her behaviour, but I am going to then critique anyone who tries to pull her down.

                  “Just so I’m clear, it’s fine to tell others that they’re “projecting their shit”, because that’s not telling people what they’re doing, right?”

                  No, that’s you, by the looks of things, missing the context. I just got sick of Grey’s lectures on proper behaviour when she’s being just as judgemental and divisive as everyone else. Plus the martyr stuff. It’s a shame, because she does have some very good ideas, and it’s true they don’t get met here very well in the sense of being able to work on things and she is probably better off looking for a think tank space elsewhere. But her mischaracterisation of ts and things like tolerance and having space to be critical are just wrong and I just reached the end of my tolerance.

        • rawshark-yeshe

          Hi @grey … surely it might not ‘be better if you leave altogether’ ? For what it’s worth, I hope you won’t, even as I write from my days of choosing to be quiet away from TS for a few more days. This, too, will pass … kia kaha, grey.

  12. Karen 12

    This is for BLiP – Key misleading the media about troops training in Australia.

    • BLiP 12.1

      Thanks Karen. I see, though, it was actually Brownlee telling the lies and not John Key. The pair of them have been lying in unison about everything concerning the deployment since at least June last year. I haven’t yet found John Key lying about the training issue, his lies were more about “we haven’t made up our mind to go” while bufoons like Gerry helped soften up the public for the eventual announcement that NZ soldiers are to go.

  13. Tory dirty tricks in the UK – flashmob organised to physically attack Ed Miliband by Conservative party HQ.


    Expect “spontaneous” heckling and attacks on Andrew Little courtesy of the Nat team. We know that even “respectable” Hoots in not beneath death threats after all.

    • tracey 13.1

      listen to Cameron’s lines about labour… exactly the same as Key’s lines about labour Greens etc…

    • Weirdly, the handful of protesters wore masks of the SNP’s former leader Alex Salmond and some of them were alleged to actually be reporters from the Sun newspaper.

      Funny old world, eh?

      • tracey 13.2.1

        Interestingly when 5000 people march down queen street to protest TPP they are “rent a mob”, when 800 white wealthy yacht fans/owners (and some who joined them) protest it makes the news 3 days on a row.

        I am NOT saying building further into auckland harbour is a good thing, just making a point about how validity of voices is measured by the media.

  14. McGrath 14

    Fast forward to 2017. Prime Minister Elect Andrew Little has two choices for a coalition partner, either Greens or NZ First. What one do you reckon he’d roll with?

    • ScottGN 14.1

      If he has two choices then presumably he’s won a great victory. I’d pick that, like Clark he’ll go with NZ First.

      • Anne 14.1.1

        It depends how the number fall ScottGN. Helen Clark had very little choice because NZ First had the numbers… the Greens didn’t. If she had been able to, I think she would have also signed an agreement of some sort with the Greens, but Peters was anti the Greens ten years ago. Times have changed. The Greens have shed their hippie image and are presenting as a main stream party. There isn’t the hostility between them any more.

        My pick is Labour and NZ First will go into a coalition. The Greens may or may not be part of it. Like I said… it comes down to the numbers.

        • Anne

          Damm it, the edit function is playing up again. I meant to say:

          The Greens may well be part of it this time but like I said… it comes down to the numbers.

      • tracey 14.1.2

        My guess based ont he past and 2014 campaign is NZF. Slightly less than the same with a kinder smile.

    • b waghorn 14.2

      I think to honour the peoples votes he should go with who gets the most votes out of the 2 support parties.

    • I think it’s unlikely that a resurgent Labour would have two options of equal strength. Either they go into 2017 with a strong progressive platform, getting soft left votes back off the Greens, or (as far too many rightwing commentators urge) they move to the right (sorry, the “centre”) and get more conservative anti-government votes off NZ First.

      Ironically in either case cannibalising the party to one side of them strengthens the other’s position. Move to the left, weaken the Greens, leave Winston with the balance of power, or move to the right, weaken NZ First (I think this is much less of a sure proposition though) and leave the Greens on a solid 15% and calling the coalition shots.

      • Scintilla 14.3.1

        Stephanie, do you think NZers are essentially conservative?
        A huge generalisation, I know, but I’ve been mulling over what exactly being “conservative” means these days. I suspect there is quite a lot of ‘soft’ conservative votes to be taken off the nats. They are more likely to move if the alternative feels solid and focused on vital issues, perhaps.

        • No, I think New Zealanders are essentially liberal (in the sense of live-and-let-live) but the conservative right have dominated the framing for so long (“special interest groups”, “minority issues”, “focus on the things that matter”) that the gut reaction to things is often a conservative “ew no not another stupid side issue” or a rightwing “the only thing that matters is the economy” one.

          The liberal/progressive movement could certainly do a better job of selling those issues, too.

          • gsays

            hi stephanie and scintilla, mostly agree with what you folks have said and would like to add this.

            guy standing of the precariat notion, and others, have observed that our current system of capitalism is part of the trouble.
            some people view this system as a means of judging people.ie if you are rich you are good, if you are poor you are not good.

            while this is a typical tory view i feel it has become entrenched in the kiwi pysche.

            • tracey

              Human beings resist change and seek the position of most comfort. This suits the framing of the Rright and it is why we are here after 35 years…

              So, change frightens most people. To that extent kiwis are conservative. Sadly the last 35 years have made that synonymous with uncaring outcomes.

            • Scintilla

              I think the judgy thing is the extension of how we used to buy into our own kiwi version of the American Dream – ie: if we work hard, behave decently, contribute somehow to society, then we can better ourselves. If you didn’t follow the recipe, then you were not worthy of your share of a bigger and better cake. Hence, material wealth = good person. I think it’s taken a long time to percolate through the social consciousness that the dream has long been over.

              I suspect 2008 was the watershed – when the banks were deemed too big to fail etc – a lot of people suddenly realised that they were living under a different set of rules. The deck was stacked. The dream was an illusion.

              The Achilles Heel of identity politics is that it atomises what needs to be a united front. The powers that be are masters of colonising any movement and turning it to their advantage. Using it to push their own agenda by stealth. Sadly, money buys you choice in how you spend your time – in fact, it buys you time for yourself outside of working for The Man and that is exactly what they don’t want the peasants to have. Our designated “choices” are for what media entertainment to purchase and between umpteen pairs of cheap shoes.

              Whoever you are and however you want to live your life, without a decent income and a flourishing natural world to sustain us, we have no real freedoms.

              • gsays

                hi scintilla, i would agree with what you are saying.
                a couple of things i would note: why should we have to work hard?
                the other is that to have a bigger share of the pie, someone else has to have less.

                till we, as a species, wake up to the notion of sharing then we are not going to get anywhere.

          • felix

            “No, I think New Zealanders are essentially liberal (in the sense of live-and-let-live) but the conservative right have dominated the framing for so long (“special interest groups”, “minority issues”, “focus on the things that matter”) that the gut reaction to things is often a conservative “ew no not another stupid side issue” or a rightwing “the only thing that matters is the economy” one.”

            This is something I’ve been thinking about lately too. My observation is that a significant part of NZ kind of more or less self-identify as conservative but actually hold pretty progressive views when you ask them on an issue by issue basis.

            • Scintilla

              Yes, I’ve found that too. They publicly toe the conservative line, but on the quiet are really quite bendy on a case-by-case basis – they certainly reserve the right to develop their own values and opinions and deeply resent having anything else imposed.

    • Rawsharkosaurus 14.4

      Fast forward to 2017, Andrew Little tells Winston Peters “we’ll gladly step back in Northland and just campaign for the party vote, if you’re prepared to have a get-together with the Greens and nut out some common ground”.

  15. greywarshark 15

    And now for something completely different. Very fascinating with multi artistic disciplines doing a modern piece. Shia LeBeouf

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